Nearly everyone in the 19th century kept scrapbooks, where they saved the newspaper items that mattered to them. From Abraham Lincoln to Susan B. Anthony, African American janitors to farmwomen, abolitionists to Confederates, people cut out and pasted down their reading. Mark Twain not only kept scrapbooks, but he invented a scrapbook that didn't need glue. He may have earned more money from this wordless, blank book than from some of the books he wrote. This talk will discuss his scrapbook invention. It will explain its roots in the free reprinting of his work that so irritated Twain, and the brilliant way that his scrapbook let him take advantage of that proliferating reprinting. This talk also sheds new light on how and WHY Samuel Clemens became Mark Twain.
This talk by Ellen Gruber Garvey, based on her book Writing with Scissors: American Scrapbooks from the Civil War to the Harlem Renaissance shows how Mark Twain's innovative uses of scrapbooks was yet another way he was ahead of his time.
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